Wow. I've really been having problems writing in my blog regularly recently. The last three weeks have been full of homework, scenes, auditions, notes, tests, etc. I can't wait until I can completely focus on my craft...and not a literature class. We're coming up on finals, so my teachers are piling on the projects, scenes, monologues, papers, etc. Less than 6 months to go until I graduate. Thrilling and terrifying.
Here's what's been going on:
1. Shakespeare final scene.
For our final assignment in Rob's Shakespeare's class, we were supposed to choose a group of 3 or 4 people to work with and a 6-8 minute scene. My group had struggles finding a 4 person scene in Shakespeare's canon that had a fairly equal amount of lines and that was at least 6 minutes. Originally we looked at doing the 'ring scene' from 'Merchant of Venice' but it ended up having an unequal amount of lines. Rob helped us find a scene from Othello that we pieced together. It's the scene where Iago suggests strangling Desdemoda to Othello using her own bed, and where Desdemoda confronts Othello about his anger, admitting that she is clueless as to why he feels that way and that she knows not what sin she committed. In this scene, I will be playing Desdemoda. Before we left for break, my group ended up blocking the entire scene, which is fantastic. After break, we'll be able to clean up and polish and experiment a little more with different choices.
2. Monologue Class
So, I've had three sessions of monologue class since the last time I updated.
a. Do a monologue using a random object in the room that is given to you.
I did a monologue from Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida for this assignment. I came into the room and the objects I had were a music stand and a pillow set on top of the stand. Instinctively, I referenced the music stand as Troilus and I used the pillow as my bed. I ended up sliding down the music stand, so as I continued to get more frustrated with Troilus, the music stand continued to get shorter and shorter. I got quite a few laughs, which was great because I'm not as confident on my comedic skills as I should be. This assignment really forced me to use my creativity and to think out of the box and make strong choices that could either work or not. It helped me to remember that making choices is FUN. I was reminded that acting is not all intellectual...it's play time, too. It really helped to jump start my brain into thinking creatively.
b. Do a monologue using a chair in an unconventional way.
So for this assignment I did Claire's monologue from Kennedy's Children. I knew precisely how I would start out with the chair and my first couple of transitions, but from there, I really didn't plan anything out. I ended up dragging the chair, kicking it over, and throwing it down at the end. All of these choices Beth really liked, and she said it was a great piece for me, but she wanted me to do the physical actions with the chair after or before I said a line, in order to be able to hear what I'm saying, and to punch the dialogue more. She said it would make the monologue go from good to stellar if I just do the actions before or after lines. But she said it was a great monologue to keep in my book, and it was funny, which is great. I think this class is helping me to build up my confidence in my comedic skills. I'm feeling more comfortable with my own sense of humor and I'm not as afraid to make bigger, bolder choices with these monologues.
c. Do a monologue with a defining starting action before you speak.
I did a monologue from the stage adaptation of Jane Austen's 'Emma' for this assignment. The defining action I did was to run sneakily over to the door, and then cross to the 'window' (the curtains in the room). I paused for a minute and then I pulled a picture out from my bra and did a girlish squeal. Then I ran to the center of the room, looking at the picture again and did another scream, and fell to the floor in a heap of giggles. Then I started my monologue. Beth said it was a great piece for me, and that I should keep it for my book. She said the defining action was great for Emma, and that I could easily alter this exercise for a real audition setting and use most of the same choices. I wasn't as happy with this exercise as I have been with ones in the past, but it was mostly because I didn't feel like this monologue was performance ready. I was thinking too much about lines, and not enough about character. I was thinking too much, really. I also needed to slow down and live through the moments a little more. But I did find a great monologue out of the assignment, so that's a success. I might end up using this monologue for 'Sense and Sensibility' auditions coming up.
There's been a ton more...but I'm still trying to recover. More to report on later...including my Disney audition in Orlando, FL. It was quite successful. :)